"Creativity takes courage." -Henri Matisse
Virtual (from anywhere) or in person in Austin
Work on an upcoming audition for a conservatory or academy program, a college monologue or sides for film/tv audition. Or strengthen technique. I am also happy to help find material. Current students at either program where I am currently teaching receive a 10% disount.
Ages 3rd grade - adult
Up to 2 actors (for scenework)
1 Hour Private Session: $60
30 Minute Private Session: $40
Schedule a private session!
Zach Academy students after class, spring 2023
Early in my career, I worked professionally as an actor in television, commercials and comedy/theatre. I began teaching youth theatre almost 20 years ago with Angelo Civic Theatre in San Angelo, Texas. During my 7 years with ACT, I developed the Youth Performance Workshop (YPW) and directed 9 MainStage musicals for ages 8-18 including favorites such as Wizard of Oz, Once Upon a Mattress and Annie Get Your Gun. While at ACT, I also taught workshops including writing, improv and acting technique. The most professional growth for me began in 2011, the year I founded a non-profit organization, Be Theatre, which is currently the resident theater company at the San Angelo Performing Arts Center. It was a wildly creative time as I served as Artistic Director for 11 years. During my years with Be Theatre, I directed adult and youth productions, taught workshops, developed outreach programming and co-founded the Literature Alive Project and B.A.D. Improv. As an actor myself, I have had great opportunities to perform with favorite roles including Rose in Gypsy, Roxy in Chicago, Dolly in Hello Dolly! and Frau Blucher in Young Frankenstein. My most recent work in film and television has been some of the most amazing experiences I've had during my professional career. I've worked on 3 feature films and 1 short film in the past year, as well as a comedy sci-fi series.
MY APPROACH & STYLE
I am a teacher and director at heart. It is my biggest passion in this industry above all else. I like to take a little of everything I've learned over the last 3 decades and see what works best for each particular student. Everyone's a little different! And it's so much fun to dissect the specific needs of each actor during a private session. We have an enormous capacity for real human connection and experience. My teaching approach is to guide actors to tap into their vulnerability so that they can better understand what it means to connect deeply not only with scene partners, but with their own mind and body. Actors need to embrace their own essence, and what makes them a unique human being. You don't need to be anyone else or please anyone else. And you certainly don't need to waste time trying to figure out what a producer or director "wants" you to be. Just be you. To be vulnerable and open takes courage. Putting yourself out there without fear of judgement isn't easy, but with the right mindset, it's incredibly freeing as a storyteller/actor. Understanding the physiology of the body is also important. We talk about where we feel certain emotions, how our breath changes and how that directly affects the the character’s experience in a story. Most of all... I hope I can give tools to help any actor have fun while telling a story.
"Elena creates such a nurturing and safe enviornment in class so we can explore our inner artist. Her teaching methods are unique and have allowed me to unlock new skills I didn't know I had. I have found such a passion and love of acting through working with Ms. Elena. She cares so deeply about each of her students and makes class a personal experience for everyone. Every class is so much FUN!"
Chloe V., High School Acting Student